KEEO Cares is an outreach initiative founded in January to help connect people in need with those in a position to help with mental health and beyond.
TAMPA, Fla – Jon Boyd has always had a community spirit. A few years ago, he rented an ice cream truck and drove around the Bay Area giving out free cones.
“Ice cream is the best thing in the world,” he said at the time. “When I sit down and think about all of those happiest times, it was around my birthday.”
Jon ended up donating 500 cones after raising more money than expected for his project. He was also able to donate around $ 3,000 to organizations that help foster children.
But, those were pre-pandemic days. Things have changed since. Boyd admits COVID-19 outbreaks around the world have put him in a “dark place.”
âPeople really want to help but they just don’t know how,â said Boyd, a 2015 USF St. Petersburg graduate. âI think if we start teaching people to help, I think we generate the same results every time. “
He teamed up with Macy Kober and artist Cheryl Weber, who goes by artist name Jujmo, to create a Tampa-themed coloring book with uplifting messages on every page designed to help people get through. the woes of the pandemic. They sold out in less than 24 hours and had to rush to order more.
KEEO CARE launched in January, almost a year after the start of the pandemic. It was a way for a trio of friends to try to connect the caregivers with those in need. The coloring book sells for $ 20, and the sales money is donated to mental health programs around Tampa Bay.
âOutside of COVID and like all of these hardships, it was so much fun and kind of made everything forget,â Jujmo said.
âAt the height of the pandemic, everyone was going through so much personal stuff with job loss, with family, not being able to connect with people in person,â she said. “In choosing to give back to Mental Health Services for the book, I thought it was perfect.”
The stock has been replenished. The KEEO Cares team hopes to inspire a community that means so much to them. Tampa Bay is home to all of them, and it is important to help the community weather the dark days of the pandemic.
“This is just the start,” he said.
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